FS misquoted,did not name anybody behind terror attacks:Govt

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New Delhi, Jul 14 (UNI) The government today rubbished as ''complete false and professionally dishonest'' a television news report quoting Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon as having said that Haqqani network was involved in the July 7 blast at the Indian embassy in Kabul in which about 40 people were killed.

The External Affairs Ministry here said in a statement that the Foreign Secretary had, in fact, clearly refused to speculate about the identity of the perpetrators of the blasts.

''We have seen news report (on a television channel) ascribing comments to the Foreign Secretary regarding the involvement of the Haqqani network in the Indian Embassy blast in Kabul. The Ministry of External Affairs would like to clarify that this news report is completely false and professionally dishonest,'' the statement said.

The Foreign Secretary who rushed to Kabul yesterday to review the security arrangements at the Indian embassy, held discussions with Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai and Foreign Minister Rangin Dafdar Spanta on how to meet the growing threat by the Taliban.

He also attended a memorial service to commemorate the victims of the July 7 attack.

Speaking at the memorial service, the Foreign Secretary said both Indians aand Afghans had suffered grievous losses in the dastardly terrorist attack on July 7.

''The attack is the work of our common enemies, of the enemies of our friendship, and of the enemies of peace in Afghanistan and our region. No words of condemnation are too strong for the perpetrators and organisers of this attack. They must and will face a reckoning.

Justice must be served.'' Calling for ensuring that the sacrifices would not go in vain, he said India is determined to continuing the work of ''these martyrs to our friendship.'' India's commitment to the reconstruction of Afghanistan and to working with Afghan people was ''unwavering,'' he added.

The embassy yesterday started issuing visas for the first time after the July 7 blast.

He said the strong and spontaneous support and sympathy that India had received from the Afghan Government and from people, inspired Indian people.

''Let there be no doubt that India and Afghanistan are and will be, today and in the future, partners,'' he asserted.

The news report said more evidence had emerged of Pakistan-based groups being behind the attack. It said strong indications had emerged from the Afghan establishment about the role of the Pakistan based terror group-the Haqqani network in the Indian embassy blasts.

According to the news channel, Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon also dropped hints that dreaded Taliban commander Sirajuddin Haqqani may be behind the attack on the Indian embassy.

Sirajuddin Haqqani, considered close to Taliban leader Mullah Umar, is the son of dreaded Taliban leader Jalaluddin Haqqani and is on the most wanted list released by the US.

He is the head of the Haqqani network that boasts of several suicide bombers and is considered to be behind various suicide attacks in Kabul. Haqqani has tremendous influence in the Pakistan tribal belt that borders Afghanistan.

UNI RB AKJ KN1552

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